My father and I will be in Istanbul in May for about six days. This will be my second visit there, though I didn't see much the first time around, for a number reasons. My father is 86 and not very upbeat, so I am trying to cheer him up a bit (he is coming from Iran, I am going from U.S.) I have booked Pera Palace, as I think my father will enjoy it's grandeur, though I realize it is somewhat faded now.
I would like to get some restaurant recommendations, similar to those that I saw referred to in a trip report by parosblue. There was a reference to a recommendations by otherchelebi.
I am also asking for some advice on whether I should hire a private tour guide. I typically go to all the places myself when I travel with my son, as I tend to research them well in advance. But I am wondering if will be efficient for us to do one day with this private tour guide, to get to know the places and not worry about transportation -- or if it's just as good to hire a car with driver and tell him where to go (the latter must be much cheaper than the 300 EUR the tour guide is charging).
The places on my list (not having done my research yet) are Topkapı Sarayı, Galata Dervish House, Spice Bazaar, Rüstem Paşa Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Bosporus Boat Tour. I am also trying to find some good and fun night clubs to take my father. Personally, I like the small alleys and neighborhoods, authentic restaurants, and historical sites, especially those that highlight how the Turkish culture has evolved.
Would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the above. Many thanks in advance.
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Istanbul in May- Need Itinerary and Restaurant recommendations Please!